Power and control cable assemblies are the brains of the operation in the cable assembly world. Control cables are able to send powerful signals at the right moment to provide precise control of various equipment. As with all cable assemblies, control cables come in all sizes, ranges, and capabilities.
The beauty of working with a custom cable manufacturer like Meridian is that we can provide the exact control cable assemblies required to meet any requirement on planet Earth, and beyond.
Types of Control Cable Assemblies
The three types of control cable assemblies you will see on the market today include SY, YY, and SY types. CY is going to be a flexible cable that has been bulked up with additional EMI protection. SY cables are those with steel braided wire to be used in applications where max protection is key. YY is simply a regular, unshielded cable.
You’ll most likely hear control cables being referred to as “instrumentation cable assemblies” or “signal cable assemblies”. While they can share common characteristics, these are actually three different cable types. A signal cable assembly would include common cable types like coaxial cable assemblies and twisted pairs, as well as fiber optic cables.
True, a control cable assembly carries signals, but signal cables are typically utilized to transmit data, which means they’ll need engineering to combat electromagnetic interference (EMI). A typical control cable assembly might not require shielding, but this is also a popular option in electronically noisy applications. Instrumentation cable assemblies also fall under these broad terms that are used interchangeably with control cables.
One of the main benefits of working with a custom cable manufacturer like Meridian is that we design well over 70% of the products we produce. With decades of experience and one of the most state-of-the-art production facilities in the U.S., we can produce whatever version of control assembly is required to meet your project’s specifications.
Customizing Your Control Cable Assembly
The ability to customize your project’s control cable assembly down to the smallest detail is what sets Meridian Cable apart from any off-the-shelf assembly out there. Built to spec and tested and re-tested for continuity, integrity, polarity, and functionality, our products are engineered to be depended on.
When deciding what options would benefit your project most, our cable designers consider all aspects of the application, as well as environmental variables requiring mitigation. A few of the many customizations our cable engineers employ throughout the process include:
Stranding utilizes twisted wires in a spiral to help transfer power more efficiently. Stranded cables include copper, tinned stranded, tinned conductors, or can include rare metals for max performance. Stranded cables also add increased flexural strength to a control cable assembly.
Since control cable assemblies are typically deployed in automation control for equipment, measurement, and regulation, the most common conductor used is copper. This is due to copper’s superior conductivity. Utilizing UL-listed components means our engineers start the project with a product that has been tested, with known capabilities, rather than starting from scratch. Depending on the setup, various conductor sizes may be required.
Our capabilities allow us to extrude as small as 34 gauge all the way up to 12 gauge. We can also employ mixed gauge cables with any combination of sizes when that’s most advantageous to the overall design.
Electromagnetic shielding material can be wrapped around a cable assembly in order to protect the assembly from all the electrical noise one would expect to find in “noisy” electronic environments such as a server room or industrial control system. The shielding protects the assembly so that the signal, power, or data transfer isn’t degraded.
Meridian cable engineers deploy the right shielding for the application which can vary considerably but typically will involve metal braiding, tape, or foil.
Proper cable management is key both for the installation and continuous maintenance of any system. Our team can create a custom control cable assembly in more than 25 different color combinations with any number of stripes, dashes, or even custom text so that the end user can quickly identify a cable’s intended port.
Insulation and fillers
Cable insulation and fillers are the true unsung heroes in the custom cable assembly world. Insulation plays an essential role in protecting conductors from the elements and keeping the structure of each individual cable exactly as it was designed. Meridian can provide insulation materials perfect for the application such as Teflon, natural rubber, PVC, PE, or PP.
Filler materials can include cotton, nylon, Kevlar, PVC, and more all to suit the needs of the project. A control cable assembly that isn’t being deployed as a power cable can be perfectly set up with standard PVC insulation.
Testing is Everything
It’s incredibly rare for a product to go from concept to volume production without a million tiny steps in between. Having advanced prototyping capability means our team gets to test different iterations of an assembly under harsh real-world conditions. If any component isn’t up to the Meridian standard, we’ll go back to the drawing board.
Start Your Control Cable Assembly Project with the Professionals
Meridian has been designing and manufacturing custom cable assemblies and wire harnesses for decades and within some of the most exacting industries. From medical and military to telecommunications and automotive OEMs, we’re proud to have our work represented across so many different fields. In the end, when it absolutely has to be done right, trust Meridian to get the job done.
Get in contact with our team today to review your specifications and experience the Meridian difference for yourself.